William James O’Rourke, M.D.
Friday, January 31, 1930
Date of Death:
Sunday, March 29, 2015
85 years old
William James O’Rourke, M.D.
Holy, humble, generous and kind. A compassionate physician and loving father, grandfather, husband, brother and friend. Bill O’Rourke was all these things, and much more.
After suffering the last few years from Alzheimer’s, Dad died at age 85, unexpectedly but peacefully at Madonna Towers in Rochester on March 29. His loving wife of 59 years, Mary Ann, was at his side. In addition to Mary Ann, other survivors include daughter Theresa (David) McGuire, Rochester; Joe (Mary) O’Rourke, Kansas; Michael O’Rourke, St. Paul; Gina (Pat) Peschel, Edina; foster daughter Jane Schnirring Rodriguez (Joe), St. Paul. He was a wonderful grandpa to Patrick, Mara and Helen McGuire, Olivia and Elise Rodriguez, Maddy and Ian O’Rourke, and Jack, Emma and William Peschel.
Bill was born 1-31-30 in St. Paul to Margaret (Schiller) and Willis. He attended St. Andrew grade school, and St. Thomas Academy and College. During medical school at Creighton University, he met Mary Ann (Dendinger). They were married in Omaha at St. Cecilia’s Cathedral. He did an internship at St. Mary’s Hospital in Duluth, then served two years at Otis Air Force base hospital in Mass., did his family practice residency at Henry Ford Hospital, Detroit, and then settled in Austin, Minn. He practiced Family Medicine at the Austin Clinic from 1961 until 1978, then joined the Mayo Clinic as a medical otorhinolaryngologist for the next 18 years, where he healed many and made friends with many more. He retired in 1996. Bill was a member of the Doctors Mayo Society, Zumbrota Medical Society and a life-time member of the American Academy of Family Practice.
Bill was an ardent, prayerful Catholic who served his parish community with total faith and generosity; he raised his children to live their faith in service to others. He and Mary Ann were Eucharistic ministers and belonged to the Rochester Serra Club, which fosters vocations to the priesthood and religious life. He was a former member of ElderNetwork and the St. Pius X parish nurse program.
Bill was preceded in death by parents Willis and Margaret, brothers Robert and Jerry, sister Marguerite and infant son William.
The family would like to extend special thanks to those who helped us care for Bill these past few years, especially those at Caring Partners and the Madonna Towers Living Community.
We invite you to join us in remembrance and celebration of Bill’s life, starting with recitation of the Rosary at 9:30 a.m. on Wednesday, April 1, 2015 at St. Pius X Catholic Church, followed by visitation at 10 a.m. and a Mass of Christian burial at 11 a.m. The Mass will be concelebrated by Father Paul Nelson and Bishop Willam Dendinger, brother-in-law, Grand Island, Neb. Lunch will follow Mass; burial afterward at Calvary Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, please send memorials to St. Pius X Church or Madonna Towers Living Community of Rochester.
The family of William James O’Rourke, M.D. has received the following condolences.
Joe and O'Rourke Family,
I was sorry to hear of your Father's death. Peace to all of you in the difficult times to come and Peace to your Father on his graduation to new horizons and the joining of his Heavenly Father.
We have such fond memories of our times with you & Bill through Teams. You have a special place in our hearts. Bill was so good to our Stephen when he was only two and needed his tonsils out. I have a vivid image of him introducing himself to this little kid as "Dr.Bill" and them quickly becoming pals. We were the terrified young parents about to send a toddler to surgery. He was good to us too.
We live in Bloomington,MN now, but always know you two are remembered well.
Jeanie & Glenn
What a tragedy to lose your father due to Alzheimer's Disease. A brillant mind, robbed of its very existence
by this ravishing illness. My deepest sympathy to the O'Rourke family and Jane and her family too.
May God bless you all.
Dear Mary Ann and family,
Our deepest sympathies go out to you and the entire family. Bill was such a kind and generous soul and it was an honor to have worked with him at Mayo and see you both socially over the years. His smiles will be greatly missed.
Nick and Connie Maragos
Our condolences to the O'Rourke family & want you to know we'd very much like to be with you at the funeral but will be in flight home from Tucson. We have been so blessed to be Team members with you for so many years and the many other gatherings, events and support we've shared with each other. I thank God for this gift of Bill we've known for so many years. Thank you Lort!! Jan & Norm & family too.
Having delivered at least one of my siblings and much later in life (accompanied by Mary Ann) traveling with my parents abroad, Dr. O'Rourke had a long history with the Landherr family.
In more recent years I had the pleasure of seeing him when he and Mary Ann would attend Jane and Joe's annual 4th of July street party in St. Paul.
My thoughts are with all of you during this difficult time.
'Holy, humble, generous and kind' might be too humble for this man. His kind words and conversations with both me and my mother while up in Rochester for some health issues were great. Condolences....
Bill was a special friend and colleague, and wonderful caretaker. I send heartfelt sympathy and condolences to all of Bill's family.
My condolences to your family. I will be thinking of you all during this time and sending prayers your way. Molly (Daly) Cruz and Family
Blessed to have known Bill for a long time. He was a kind of mentor to me, both in discernining my vocation as well as learning about caring for the elderly. It was an honor for me to help care for him since he moved to Madonna Towers. I will always remember him sitting in his wheelchair, his hands folded together under his chin, head slightly bowed, eyes closed. Praying? Resting? Both I believe. Now may he forever rest on peace.